CANTON, OHIO – The Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic returns to the Pro Football Hall of Fame campus over Labor Day weekend, September 1-4, 2022. After two years of showcasing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) South, this year’s Classic will feature Ohio’s only HBCU football team, the Central State University Marauders, as they take on the Winston-Salem State University Rams on Sunday, September 4 at Tom Benson Hall. of Fame Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
“The Hall is proud to once again shine the spotlight on the talented students, alumni, administration and staff of two great HBCUs,” said Adrian Allison, Director of Relations at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The game will be the title of four days of festivities organized around Canton to celebrate the culture and excellence of the HBCU.
“The Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic is an opportunity for our community to understand different cultures as well as an opportunity to bring diverse groups together,” said Jim Porter, Chairman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “We want the whole community to show up for the classic weekend.”
Central State has a proud football tradition. From 1986 to 1992, the Marauders dominated black college football and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, winning five consecutive black college football national championships and two NAIA football national championships. Central State has produced three Black College Football Hall of Fame inductees: Hugh Douglas, Billy Joe and Erik Williams. Head coach Kevin Porter will make his debut at the helm of the Marauders at this year’s Classic.
Since 2011, the Winston-Salem State football team has played in six conference championship games and made four NCAA Division II playoff appearances. Rams legends Bill Hayes and Timmy Newsome have been enshrined in the Black College Football Hall of Fame. Head coach Robert Massey will make his first appearance as the Rams’ permanent head coach at the Classic after two seasons as interim WSSU head coach.
The schools’ renowned marching bands – the Invincible Marching Marauders and the Red Sea of Sound – will perform at half-time and in the ‘5th Quarter’ immediately after the game. The game, which airs on NFL Network, will be the first nationally televised regular-season Division II football game since Wingate University played Newberry College on Nov. 12, 2016.
Tickets for the match are on sale. Reserved seating is available from $30 to $70. Club seats are also available for $155. Premium food and beverages are included in the club ticket price. Group rates are available. For all ticket options, please visit www.profootballhof.com/events/2022/09/bcfhofclassic22/.
Before the football match, the Classic offers many events from Thursday morning to Sunday evening.
On Thursday, September 1, high school students and their families can attend the Classic College Fair, giving them the opportunity to inquire about and apply to more than 50 colleges and universities, including 25 HBCUs. More than 1,400 students are expected at the college fair, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Hall of Fame campus. On Thursday evening, the Stark County District Library will host the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books author series featuring Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James Harris and Doug Williams, as well as the football historian Joe Horrigan.
The Community Open-Mic Poetry Night will take place on Friday, September 2 at 7 p.m. at the Nash Family Event & Conference Center at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Later, the red carpet affair, featuring jazz, food and conviviality, will take place at the Metropolitan Event Center in Guangzhou.
Starting Saturday, September 3 at 11 a.m., the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic Funfest will kick off at Centennial Plaza in downtown Guangzhou. This fun-filled day will feature local food and merchandise vendors, food trucks and live entertainment all afternoon, with a special guest appearance from Canton Season 10 winner and MasterChef Dorian Hunter. Capping off the evening at the Plaza, Central State and Winston-Salem State Marching Bands and the Faith, Family & Football Gospel Concert, featuring Dove, Stellar and Grammy award-winning artist Fred Hammond. This event is free and open to the public. A limited number of reserved seats will be available for purchase at a later date.
Other festivities include a weekend-long Let’s Talk Art exhibition at the Doubletree Downton Canton; a revitalization effort at the Habitat for Humanity neighborhood in southeast Guangzhou on Saturday, September 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Cecilia Ponder’s Interfaith Service at Centennial Plaza, the Stark County Minority Affairs Reception at the Nash Family Event & Conference Center; and a classic pregame party on the Hall campus, featuring food and entertainment for the whole family.
“If you love good music, great food, and great camaraderie, Classic Weekend is for you,” Allison said.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame class of 2022 will be honored throughout the weekend. This year’s registrants are Ben Coates (TE, Livingstone College), Donald Driver (WR, Alcorn State University), John “Big Train” Moody (RB, Morris Brown College), Roscoe Nance (Contributor, Tuskegee University), Nate Newton (OL, Florida A&M University), William “Billy” Nicks (Coach, Morris Brown College and Prairie View A&M University) and Sammy White (WR, Grambling State University).
For more information and to purchase tickets, fans can visit: https://www.profootballhof.com/events/2022/09/bcfhofclassic22/